Being an au pair gives you the unique opportunity to study at an American university.
As part of your J-1 visa, the American au pair program asks that all au pairs complete at least six credits at an accredited college in the USA. Your host family will also contribute up to $500 towards your courses.
Studying in the USA is an excellent way to experience American culture to the fullest. You can strengthen your English fluency, meet new people, and explore your academic and creative interests. You can choose any course offered that interests you which fits into your childcare responsibilities, from international business to fashion merchandising. Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill such as photography, or take up a second language, like French? Now is the time to harness your curiosity and discover new passions.
Au pair perspectives
Here's what our au pairs have to say about their experiences at American colleges.
Valentina, Cultural Care au pair from Italy:
"I have taken three classes at the Colorado School Of English: ‘Reading to Writing’ ‘Grammar’ and ‘Speaking & Listening’. My classes had such a mix of different cultures, including students from China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and more. It’s good to start with a simple English class, especially at the beginning and after to take a class related to your own personal interests. I’ve finished my credits but would still like to take a photography class because I’m discovering I’m pretty good at taking photos."
Jessica, Cultural Care au pair from Australia:
"The first class I took was at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and the course was 'The Flow of History.' In this class we learned about the historic value of Niagara Falls and Native American tribes that contributed to the development of this natural wonder of the world. The final section of the class was a weekend trip to Niagara Falls. Personally, I thought the trip was a great opportunity to travel more around America and enjoy a short visit to Canada for the first time. It was definitely my favourite part of this course!"
Patricia, Cultural Care au pair from France:
"I am taking an ‘Introduction to Business’ class right now at the College of Lake County, Illionis. When I go back to France I want to earn a Master’s degree in Marketing and Business so this class will really help me to have a more basic understanding of these subjects. This class takes place every Thursday from 6:30pm to 9:30pm and even though it’s three hours of class and sometimes I am tired from a full day with the kids, I enjoy it because it is a new experience."